School shopping doesn't have to be hard

School supplies
(long post)
 If you are anything like me, school shopping is no fun. We tend to look for the best deals and shop during the designated school shopping time. Here are a few tips that helped me save on shopping for 4 students.
  • only buy what is needed - don't over buy or think that a student may need something later in the school year. Prices are the same through out the year. The items that go on deep discount are usually store brand or limited supply.
    • walmart- supplies in the store down the arts and crafts area are the same price. I went school shopping in June before sales and found that supplies were the same price. There was not as many options in colors for $.15 folders but there were folders.
    • school list- wait to buy supplies for the teacher until you talk to the teacher. Some schools put out a standard list that teachers really don't ask for.
    • donation- if donating is something that on your heart, grab a backpack and fill with box of crayons, markers, pack of pencils, erasers, 5 folders, two packs folder paper, 3 spiral notebooks, pack of pens, and ruler. This should run about $15-$20 (including cost of backpack)
  • trendy is not always better- we are shopping for clothes and shoes for our littles and bigs. There are so many trends that we thought it better not to follow any of them. We are shopping for our children not the social committee. They usually get about 30-40 outfits each for the new school year. We spend as a family $1000 dollars, seems like a lot but in truth is only 10% of what people usually spends for new clothes for multiple children. We also shop through the year when sales are happening and buy bigger sizes.
    • April (bigs) - for her pants we have found that name brand last the longest. So she gets holster (spelled right?) pants. We buy 3 pair for about $25 each. Little much I know, but once she grows out of them we have them as hand me downs. Such great quality they last through April and still look new for our other two girls. Shirts really are so simple. Any store that has sale options work. We usually put aside $100 for tops (shirts, t-shirts, sweaters, and a jacket) and let her choose from any sale rack at any store. Shoes are different. She appreciates Jordan's but is in an adult size. So we take her to see the price of one pair and allow her to choose either one pair of those or as many other kinds that meet the same price. This has worked for two years. A lot of hand me downs from her cousin. (total is about $250)
    • Havanna(bigs)- is super simple. She loves wearing t-shirts and jeans. Every so often she likes to dress girly, but is comfty girl at heart. She get to shop at the Children's' Place, Target, Walmart, and sometimes Kmart (I'm not a fan). Her pants are usually hand me downs from either her big sister or a local church thrift store (jeans only last her a month or so because she is so rough on them) unless she wants a special pair and then we get her old navy. Old Navy fits her so well. Shirts are hand me downs and sale racks. Shoes really don't matter to her. She just likes having cool looking ones. (total $250)  
    •  Tatiana(littles)- is my girly girl. During the summer we look for summer sales and get all the skirts and dresses we can. Most of the time they cost $1-$2 bucks each. Summer clothes are much cheaper because they are only meant to last about 3 months. Tatiana is light on her clothes so they last the whole year for her. Her pants are from Children's Place and we get them on sale for about $8 each (3 pair). She is a dress kind of girl so a lot of pants aren't needed. Shirts are usually hand me downs and sale rack items. She always wears a small sweater so summer shirts work well for her. Shoes are whatever are cute, on sale, and as girly as possible. Tatiana is hard on her shoes so we usually get her double the amount and spend a little less on clothes. (total $250)
    • Cristofer (littles)- is so much harder then all of the girls. We shop year round for our son. There are less choices for boys and his interest change so often. Shirts, shorts, and pants are usually from Fallas, Target, Children's Place, Kmart (spend about $160 on clothes). His shoes are easy. He usually likes to split his shoe wearing in between 3 pair. We throw in a pair of J's because he is still in a kids size. (total $250)
  • Hand me downs and good quality second hand clothing is nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of people think that it is bad. Most of the time people cannot even tell they are not new pieces. I am teaching my children that new doesn't always mean better.
  • Sticking to school policy. Never buy anything that cannot be worn to school.

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